Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Saturday, October 28, 2006

IF - Wind & more on Zero Balancing

Illustration Friday - Wind

Yesterday's topic of Wind inspired a dream last night with two people turning blue in a cold blast of air. That dream inspired this abstract.

ZB course & Focussing

On the first morning of my zero balance course I arrived last, not late, but last. There were only two others, both women, on the course; one who had come from Spain but who had lived in Hebden Bridge. The other who was currently living in, guess where?, yes Hebden Bridge... they hadn't known each other before hand so this was fortuitous. And of course by the time I'd got there they had already bonded. They were like long lost twins. Oh and both were Gemini... (and considered signs important... that's one of the hazards of going on alternative courses ;-) Of course as Jim is Gemini I ought to consider myself experienced in getting along with Geminis... ;-) Both were staying in B&Bs so they also went out together in the evenings and drank Guinness. I felt left out! But not so left out that I wanted to join in... And they did try to include me - they were lovely people (which is one of the reasons for going on alternative courses; the people on them often are lovely) - but they were lovely people who'd struck gold meeting each other!

The teacher had also invited a Zero Balancer along to each day to even up numbers, on the first day it was someone I'd met on my previous course - she'd been going to practice days whereas I hadn't, and for the rest of the days someone who'd qualified as a certified Zero Balancer, which amongst other things means he'd done at least one advanced course with the guy who invented Zero Balancing, Dr. Fritz Smith, and had written two essays and written up at least 50 case studies. As the two Hebden Bridgers showed a definite inclination to work together as much as possible I was lucky as it meant I got to work a little more than my fair share with much more experienced ZBers - which was the silver lining for me!

When receiving a Zero Balancing you are told that it should either feel-good or hurt-good (and yes I know I ought to have written this up at the beginning of the week when Sunday Scribblings' prompt was "Good"). So when giving one you have to be aware of the effect you are having on the other person. Very aware. You also need to be strongly within your own body. This is the biggest challenge for me. I remember being a much more sensuously aware person than I currently am; M.E. was a painful experience, especially as I became allergic to aspirin and paracetamol etc. so I'm having to relearn being in my body. One of the reasons I like receiving a ZB is that it makes me more aware of my body in a good way.

On Monday, in the Amnesty bookshop, I found a book called Focussing by Eugene T. Gendlin. It gives instructions on how to really listen to your body - just what I needed! And after reading it I realised that this was something I'd done before in a different context as one of my favourite books for dream interpretation is Let Your Body Interpret Your Dreams by Eugene T. Gendlin! I've never found that dream dictionaries rang true for me but that sense of "ringing true" is what you use if you work with his method.

Something else I liked about Focussing was that the whole technique had come out of research into why some people responded to psychotherapy and others didn't. As a practising psychotherapist Gendlin found the results of his research counter-intuitive but acted on it anyway. The research had shown that it was possible to tell who would improve using psychotherapy within the first two sessions. And this was down to a skill the patient had, not the therapist. Over time he and others developed Focussing as a way to enable the patient to be more in touch with their own body's responses. And being a body those responses can be irrational, contradictory and generally not accessed intellectually, but they can be felt. What's more this is a useful technique without being in therapy - it enables one to relieve all sorts of stresses from the body. Simply listening to the body releases tension, things SHIFT.

Which brings me back to Zero Balancing. One of the things that happens in a session is that things SHIFT. The receiver goes into places that are not normally accessed consciously. The givers job is to ensure that this is a beneficial shift and not one that depletes the person. We were taught all sorts of signs to watch out for and what to do if we thought someone was getting depleted. The whole task is an interesting juggling act of increasing bodily awareness whilst also facilitating the exploration of altered states of consciousness and keeping the person safe. And all in 20 minutes or so - that's how long a ZB often takes.

Last night's dream produced a SHIFT for me. I realised that the cold wind was being blown at me was other people's disapproval - and I saw that I tend to react to it by playing up on the outside (thus eliciting even more disapproval) and making me feel hurt on the inside. And from there I realised how useless it is to show disapproval too as it tends to cause more mischief and hurt... well at least that's the stage I'm at right now... as these things aren't logical or consistent I may end up anywhere next!

I have been having a hard time getting this to post - I hope eventually it will be published.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Zero Balance Books

Tinker asked if there were any books on Zero Balancing so here are the only one's I know about.

I haven't read The Alchemy of Touch yet - its only just arrived - but the teacher said it was better than Inner Bridges.

The Zero Balance book is excellent. If you can't see the books just scroll down, on my browser they are spacing themselves very strangely...



Thursday, October 26, 2006

From skeletons to extensions...

Eden mural 2
Eden mural 1

Here are a couple more pictures from the Eden project. These were painted by visiting shaman in the Tropical biome.

So what have I been up to?

The Zero Balancing course was hard work - so much so that my hands hurt too much to do the final full ZB on a person so I did it on a skeleton. The skeleton was called Wellington. You can do ZB on a skeleton because the target for most of the moves is bone.

The next day I decided it was finally time to read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon and what did I find but that the Dog from the title is called Wellington and the boy telling the story is Christopher Boone - very like bone.... I suspect the author of a little joke here about dogs and bones... and for me it turned out to be a great synchronicity!

Then somehow I found myself going through my book shelves and pulling out lots of books that I needed to pass on to someone else. I've put 60 onto Amazon.co.uk's marketplace and took as many as I could carry to a charity shop. And tonight one of my Amazon books has sold - yippee!

I was a bit miffed when I started listing books to discover that although Amazon charge the buyer £2.75 for postage and packing - as the seller I only see £2.32 of that. And of course they take 17.25% of the price paid for the item as well, oh and another 86p... I've been carefully weighing books and trying to figure out what size they'll be when wrapped to work out what I'll be charged at the post office:

Large letter
Length: 353mm max
Width: 250mm max
Thickness: 25mm max

Weight range Second Class
0-100g 37p
101-250g 55p
251-500g 75p
501-750g 109p

Length: over 353mm
Width: over 250mm
Thickness: over 25mm

Weight range Second Class
0-100g 84p
101-250g 109p
251-500g 139p
501-750g 177p
751-1000g 212p

There are definitely people selling things on amazon who are going to be paying to sell them... for an item listed at 1p the seller receives £1.41 and Amazon make a condition that you use new packing materials... no recycled jiffy bags allowed... plus you must include a receipt... and not many books are going to slip into the large letter category...

Tonight I also parcelled up three books to send to a friend and because one was only a large letter size it turned out to be cheaper to send them as two parcels - of course I'm using recycled packaging for these.

Gosh I've gone all nerdy on postage!

The other thing I've been doing is working out how we might do a small extension to our house... I'll need to get an architect to tell me if there is any mileage in it... I hope it will turn out to be the kind of thing one can get planning permission to do and that won't cost heaps and heaps... its not large but it would improve the flow of the house and give us a wonderful bathroom and ensuite!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Zero Balance course


Over the next 5 days - Wednesday to Sunday inclusive - I'm on a zero balancing course. To qualify as a zero balancer one must take the course twice. I took it about 18 months ago and then thought it wasn't for me. However things change and a few weeks ago I decided I'd take it a second time, I then discovered my teacher from the first course was doing a course just after my birthday in Bristol - ideal I thought - but that was before I caught cold or 'flu or whatever it is that is still making me feel under the weather. However I think I'll be okay to go tomorrow. I doubt I'll also find time to blog until next week. See you all next week.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Happy Birthday to me!

Once more the year has rolled around... and this time landing me on a Friday 13th. I've had some lovely presents - the above doodle inspired by reading a book on machine embroidered bags that came from my brother-in-law and his wife.

I hope it isn't also influenced by the fact that I've currently got a fairly horrible cold! So I'm back to bed now. Sniffle!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Eden Project - Temperate Biome - sculptures

Eden - Pig

The highlight of the holiday last week was going to the Eden Project. I had been anticipating enjoying the plants, after all this is a modern horticultural garden. What I hadn't been expecting was all the art works around the place. Today I'll just post three from the Temperate Biome.

Eden - Stork

Edeb - Bull

This bull is from a set inspired by the Rites of Dionysus.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

How do you get to an island at high tide?

Sea Tractor No 3
By sea tractor!

At Bigbury-on-Sea there is a causeway to a small island, called Burgh Island. Its covered at high tide but you can still get across if you can catch one of these.

If you can.... We and several others waited after this one had put down its passengers but then the driver ran away. We had all drifted off looking at things on the seashore when suddenly he returned got in started it up and returned to the island with no-one on board. An odd way to run the service... and we therefore did not eat at the pub or hotel on the island which had been our aim.

Another place that was run oddly was a cafe we had heard about. We didn't have good directions and spent some time looking through all the lanes around one village, called cutely Harrowbarrow, when we got there it was still in good time for lunch and the place had almost no-one seated but on seeing us the waitress pointedly removed the board that said to wait to be seated and put up another saying that they were fully booked. So we drove on to Tavistock, where we ate at Cafe Liaison near the church. In fact we liked it so much that we went home this way and dropped in for morning cake!

Near this cafe there was a lovely gallery (its website doesn't do it justice!) selling some really beautiful pieces of pottery, woodwork and jewellery in particular.


On our last day the weather was fabulous so we weren't rushing to return. We went via Dartmoor and did a short walk around some of the strange standing stones there.

Standing Stone, Dartmoor

On the journey home I was determined to get a photo of this man, who is made from willow over a steel framework.

M5 wicker sculpture

As he's on the M5 we couldn't stop to take his picture but this one wasn't too blurry!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

I'm back!

Two Trees - Dartmoor

Thank you for your patience during this break in transmission.

Normal service will resume as soon as possible...

In fact I hope that now I really am back.

Today we returned from a week away so there will be a few photos to see before I get back into posting any art. We spent the week in a holiday cottage in Cornwall. The whole estate is currently for sale if anyone has £1.8 million to spare! If it were mine I'd turn the cottage we were staying in into a studio...

So what you wonder have I been doing to keep me from blogging for several months?

In June, for the last two weeks I was on retreat. In July, August, September I've been working on myself to improve my health - I was using energy medicine which always sounds far too weird when explained so I won't try - but a consequence of it was that I was using all my creativity in working out what to do with nothing to spare for any art or blogging. Several interesting things did happen and I will blog about them later. For now I'll just relate one synchronicity that occurred.

A couple of weeks ago the work that I was doing on myself came up with the phrase:

"Transcending H.K."

H.K. is Health Kinesiology and is something I first experienced on my birthday in 1997. It was so transformative that I trained in it, although until then I'd not trained in any alternative therapy of any sort. I practised on anyone who would let me for a couple of years after I'd trained but then I stopped being able to get "energy permission" to work. So that was the end of my potential new career... One of the people I'd swapped with during that time was the woman who'd first done H.K. on me. I hadn't seen her since I'd stopped doing H.K. on others, sometime in 2000.

Having done this work on transcending H.K. I went down to my local Amnesty bookshop which is one of my regular haunts. I'd found a couple of interesting looking books but I felt that there was something else. I lurked for a while. In fact I think the chap behind the desk, who was new and didn't know me, began to give me odd looks. Then I heard someone bring in a bag of books and say a couple of words - I recognised the rich South African tones of the woman who'd first done H.K. on me. I dropped the books I'd been considering and rushed out of the shop to catch her.

She had stopped H.K. sometime ago too - because she didn't like the advanced courses. So there we were closing the circle.

And its relevant to this posting as I've been waiting to begin blogging again, not sure what I was waiting for, knowing that I would start again... but now I've suddenly found myself wanting to take photos and thinking about art... its time and here I am...

Cornish waves